THE Mumbai Police has registered a case of negligence against Wizcraft International Entertainment Pvt Ltd, the organisers of the Maharashtra Night, for the fire that broke out during the cultural programme held on February 14 at Girgaum Chowpatty in South Mumbai.
Confirming the development DCP Dhananjay Kulkarni said, “A case of negligence has been registered against Wizcraft under section 285 (Negligent conduct with respect to fire or combustible matter) and 336 (Act endangering life or personal safety of others) of the Indian Penal Code and the matter is being probed”.
The First Information Report (FIR) was registered on Friday morning after studying the report submitted by the Mumbai Fire Department. The report by the Fire Department was submitted to the state government and the Mumbai Police on Wednesday.
The report stated“willful negligence” by the event management company leading to the massive fire.
In its 185-page report uploaded on the website of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), the fire brigade has said repeated instructions on fire safety were ignored in the run-up to the event. “In spite of repeated instructions, no heed was paid by the organisers to follow these safety instructions. This act… shows willful negligence/willful flouting of the fire safety instructions in spite of the fact of having knowledge of the same,” reads the report, submitted by P Rahangdale, Chief Fire Officer.
“Fire spread rapidly due to the combustible /inflammable material stored below and near the stage and also involvement of LPG cylinders etc…,” said the report, adding the fire spread due to the heavy fire load, combustible material used to build the stage, wooden planks, plywood sheets, acrylic sheets and the towers used for pyrotechnics.
After considering all probabilities, said the report, the likely cause of the fire appeared to be a “defective electric circuit” or a spark from wiring that touched some combustible material.
The report also said there was unauthorised storage of large quantities of combustible material such as plywood, wooden props, cloth, wiring, painting material, stored below the stage. Fifteen fully charged CO2 cylinders too were near the stage.
The LPG cylinders used to create an image of lord Ganesha with flames were also completely unauthorised, said the report. The no-objection certificate and spot inspection report clearly mentioned that the LPG cylinders were not to be used. Yet, six cylinders were at the site — one exploded while the others were seized by police.
The fire burnt down the stage, equipment and decorations at Girgaum Chowpatty during the cultural event that was part of the Make in India Week held in Mumbai.
Meanwhile, Mumbai Congress president Sanjay Nirupam termed the report ‘eyewash’. “CM Devendra Fadnavis organised the event while ignoring rules. The state is responsible for the fire that occurred due to its negligence. It is now shunning responsibility and making Wizcraft a scapegoat,” he said.